Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the American Rolling Mill Company
. This historic document was printed by the Columbian Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an eagle perched on a rock overlooking a paper mill.
In May, 1900, George Verity, owner of American Steel Roofing, agreed to move his plant to Middletown. Ground was broken in July of that year and the new American Rolling Mill Company opened in February, 1901. The corporation quickly grew and soon was a leader in the steel industry. The growth of ARMCO spurred the growth of Middletown. Between 1900 and 1930, the population grew from 9,215 to 29,992.
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates we made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that grown in popularity and realized nice appreciation in value over the past several years.